TUC expresses solidarity with journalists attacked by EDL

TUC affiliates expressed maximum solidarity with journalists who came under attack by the English Defence League (EDL) on September 3.

Moving an emergency motion on Tuesday National Union of Journalists (NUJ) executive member Anita Halpin explained how journalists going about their jobs had been abused and assaulted by members of the far-right organisation.

One journalist was sexually assaulted while another had lighter fuel poured over him and was set alight, suffering minor injuries. “We don’t want to have to add a British journalist’s death to the already too long list of colleagues abroad,” she said to a sombre hall.

Ms Halpin highlighted how NUJ activists had been identified by fascist website Redwatch. “We ask affiliates to call on police to prosecute those who attacked our members,” she said. “We won that fight against fascism and we will win this one.”

Seconding the motion RMT general secretary Bob Crow said that transport workers had refused to carry EDL members across the city on the day of the planned rally. “Our members felt threatened and we warned that members would walk out without a ballot if instructed to carry EDL members on public transport.”

“We won’t go to work if these people are there. And we won’t even use a ballot and we ask you to support us,” he said to huge applause from the conference hall. “The EDL need to be wiped out. They don’t stand for what decent human beings stand for.”

Morning Star, 14 September 2011